The flooding and consequent displacement bring several protection concerns, especially amongst children, women, and displaced people. The crisis has caused financial difficulties for families who have lost their livelihoods and negative coping strategies are being reported, including an increase in child labour. The hard situation also increases the risk of gender-based violence that is already being reported, especially amongst displaced women.
Several families whose houses have been completely washed away by the storms and floods do not possess financial means or land elsewhere to build their shelters. There is an urgent need for available lands to relocate families who were rendered homeless.
Limited settlement options for at-risk women, separated children, unaccompanied elderly, people with disabilities, chronically-ill, pregnant and lactating women increased the need for protection services.
Extensive damage to public facilities such as schools, sexual and reproductive health care facilities, hospitals, and latrines have been reported, negatively impacting basic services when the people need it the most.
The Protection Cluster has been working closely with all humanitarian actors and Government counterparts to share and ensure adherence to protection mainstreaming guidance. Protection organizations are steering and participating in the needs assessment activities to identify the main protection concerns, issues and cases for follow up and assistance.
Across the country, humanitarian partners are working with local authorities, advocating for the establishment of police posts and or deployment of police in the relocation areas to ensure the physical safety of people and their remaining household assets. Partners are also working to secure the agreement of the landowners prior to the relocation and settlement of the affected population.
Organizations are also increasing community engagement and awareness-raising activities, such as preventing separation, sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as referral pathways and information on family tracing and reunification, and provision of alternative care.
There is a limited capacity of the Government, UN agencies and INGOs to rehabilitate facilities that provide essential services to the population. The limited presence of operational partners and the lack of community-based protection structures in some affected areas constrain the response, as well as the challenges posed by the floods on physical accessibility. There are gaps in land allocation for relocated families. Competing needs in the context of COVID-19 is also a challenge.